The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

ISCARIOT by Tosca Lee

Iscariot by Tosca LeePublisher:  Howard Books
Release Date: February, 2013
Pages:  336

About the Book:  In Jesus, Judas believes he has found the One—a miracle-worker. The promised Messiah and future king of the Jews, destined to overthrow Roman rule. Galvanized, Judas joins the Nazarene’s followers, ready to enact the change he has waited for all his life.

But Judas’ vision of a nation free from Roman rule is crushed by the inexplicable actions of the Nazarene himself, who will not bow to social or religious convention—who seems in the end to even turn against his own people. At last, Judas must confront the fact that the master he loves is not the liberator he hoped for, but a man bent on a drastically different agenda.

Iscariot is the story of Judas—from his tumultuous childhood and tenuous entry into a career and family life as a devout Jew, to a man known to the world as the betrayer of Jesus. But even more, it is a singular and surprising view into the life of Jesus himself that forces us all to reexamine everything we thought we knew about the most famous—and infamous—religious icons in history.

Wanda's Review:  The story begins when Judas is six years old. His father, Simon, announces to the family they are leaving Jerusalem. Judas doesn't understand why - only that Jerusalem is unsafe. They begin their journey and eventually come to Sapphoris, far from Jerusalem, where they make their home, staying with Simon's cousin, Eleazor - a priest. 

With Herod dead and his son, Archelaus, barely on the throne, rebellions break out over the country. These were not safe days with soldiers and bandits roaming the hills. The soldiers gathered up men to crucify or sell into slavery to satisfy their Roman masters. The bandits preyed on anyone they could find. There are many graphic scenes portrayed in this book - particularly in this section.

Time moves on and Judas is now a man with a mother and younger brother to provide for. He becomes betrothed to a girl in the village. He eventually moves with his family to Jerusalem. 

The story unfolds with John the Baptist and John's cousin, the Nazarene they called Jesus - the man who would become Judas's greatest friend. Jesus said, "Come with me where I am going, Judas, and you will find the thing you seek." Judas begins the great journey he has waited for all his life. And the story continues through the betrayal of his greatest friend, Jesus - the Messiah - the Master he delivers to his death. 

Very little is known about Judas's youth and his family, and it's important to remember this book is fiction. The author has taken many liberties with this story, but has penned a masterpiece with details that bring the past to vibrant life. This is a story that is completely absorbing and wonderfully written - a story that will certainly touch your heart. 

One negative thought: In my opinion there were a few important parts of the story that were skimmed over too lightly. That being said, this is truly a book to be savored. Take the time to read this one - you'll be glad you did. 

427839The Author:  Tosca Lee
Tosca Lee is the NY Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed DEMON: A MEMOIR, HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE, ISCARIOT, and the Books of Mortals series with NY Times bestseller Ted Dekker: FORBIDDEN, MORTAL and SOVEREIGN. 

Tosca, a former first runner-up to Mrs. United States, received her B.A. in English and International Relations from Smith College in Massachusetts. She also studied at Oxford University.